Long-term management of the ventilator patient in the home1

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The author reviews 30 years of experience with home care of ventilator-dependent patients at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, involving 313 individuals. Diagnoses and equipment needs are reviewed and the required training of care givers in the home is emphasized. Follow-up by the physician and availability of resource people are critical to the success of the program. Emergency access to equipment vendors and medical professionals must be provided. In selected cases, home management is preferable to long-term hospitalization on both social and economic grounds.